Kampala, Uganda | URN | The government has advised organizers of the presidential debate to consider using the National broadcaster, UBC and Vision Group televisions such as Bukedde TV to telecast the presidential debate as a solution to lack of funds.
Speaking to this publication, Judith Nabakooba, the Minister of ICT and National Guidance said that declining to hold the debate by hiding behind lack of funds is escapist.
“Let those TVs organize it because they are paid for by the country,” Nabakooba said. “I think they will not need any money to do it.”
She said this in response to the assertion by the Elders Council chairperson, Justice James Ogola that they might not be able to organize debates during these elections for lack of money.
Ogola said the government froze the accounts of Non-Governmental Organizations [NGOs] that used to bankroll them to organize such debates.
“We had hoped that these debates were going to be bigger and better,” Ogola said. “We hoped to not only have presidential debates but also parliamentary and mayoral debates so that Ugandans can scrutinize the candidates messages.”
Justice Ogola added that they are still talking to government to see that they let free the organizations whose funds were frozen to function freely.
“Campaigns cannot be sufficient for candidates to clearly articulate what is in their manifestos, they need a place without a lot of noise to clearly articulate their visions for a better Uganda but as it stands now, time seems to be running out,” said Ogola.
While presiding over Christmas mass at Lubaga Cathedral, Archbishop Dr Cyprian Kizito Lwanga said Ugandans need to have their leaders on the same platform to know their stand on a number of issues that are affecting the country.
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He said the health, political and economic challenges occasioned by COVID-19 make it even more pressing that candidates are brought together to know who has more superior ideas to shepherd the country through these challenges.
The Electoral Commission [EC] has fixed January 14, 2021 as the day when Ugandans will go to the ballot to elect the president and members of parliament.